Just like TV commercials, branded entertainment has also migrated online. Such entertainment is nothing new, though -- it's simply the term given to long-form content, like TV shows, that advertisers sponsor or integrate their product into.
They are using the same tried and true tactics on the Internet, too. Just as advertisers use their proven offline technique -- the
commercial -- on the Internet, whether in the form of an in-stream pre-roll or an in-page video banner, they are also sponsoring existing Web shows, cleverly incorporating their products into them, or
they are creating their own unique shows altogether conceptualized to house their particular brand DNA within program narratives. Each type of sponsorship allows brands the opportunity to reward their
audiences with rich and entertaining content, helping to create a connection between the brand and consumer.
Note the following examples:
and Bertolli pasta teamed up to create "Into The Heart of Italy," a travel and cooking show following actress Marissa Tomei,
chef Rocco DiSpirito and TV personality Dan Cortese through Italy, tasting the best food the country has to offer.
Toyota's current campaign, "The Sienna Family," is a comedic spin on a couple's view regarding parenting and their family life. The campaign is able to marry the brand's offline TV spots with a longer form webisodic content, resulting in a show similar to that of a stand-up comic's routine.
The US Air Force (USAF) created "To The Max," a program about young tinkerers and inventors helping to show the USAF's fostering of smart technical minds.